Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's all that stuff about tomorrow anyway, Annie?

"The sun will came out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow they'll be sun. Just thinking about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow 'till there's none..." Oh really, Annie?

It's Tuesday morning and Washington official speak according to the news media is that the national recession is almost over. But perusing the local paper I note that unemployment in Florida continues to hover at around 12%, the real estate market is continuing to struggle with close to seven out of ten sales being either short sales or bank owned homes. The median price has dropped from about $250,000 when the recession began to just under $100,000. Construction starts are few and far between, as you might suppose. People are leaving the state not moving in since the job market is so poor. Technology jobs are practically non existent and the government is all but killing NASA. As far as I know, we have not seen any of the federal stimulus money here. Oh, the banks are fine; they're just not lending. So, maybe you should just stuff it, little redheaded chick.

Here, tourism took a hit from the BP oil spill. It seems that all we've got going for us now is our alluring weather. But, wait a minute, its still in the nineties in late September. Scratch that thought. At least we still have Harry Potter at Universal. Without Harry, the hotels would be hurting cause Shamu and Tinker Belle can't cut it alone these days. Especially at Disney's prices.

Looking beyond the local, things aren't so rosy either. People who have been around a long time, like former President Carter (84 years young), say that they don't remember a time when our country was so bitterly divided. Nobody in DC can agree to work together on anything. Global warming is upon us whether we like the weather or not. Can't even buy an egg without risking death. We're morally compromised, fiscally piled high an deep, and still spending big bucks losing the mideast to Al Quaida and the mullahs. And Iran, who is itching to roll over Iraq says we did 9-11 to ourselves. Some folks probably actually believe that too, more's the pity. Best to put the paper down and avoid Fox and CNN, too. I can only feel worse.

So, I'll just go back to working on my dragon book, walking the dogs, and doing yoga as much as I can. Hit the beach as many times in the RV as possible. Live today for tomorrow may be worse. Or with luck, it may get better. There's nothing I can do about it anyway. Meanwhile, I'll just stick earplugs in when the kid is belting out her show stopping number and wait it out.

Like Scarlett, I'll think about tomorrow tomorrow. Today, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Well boys and girls, life is interesting isn't it? I love the changes that come from being open to new experiences. Recently, I have reflected about how our needs and preferences, interests, likes and dislikes alter with our age and the various stages (or passages if you prefer) that we go through on our journey through our physical life.

I am now in what is probably the last quarter of my life and I am finding out what my grandparents knew: that material things eventually weigh one down. I am less and less interested in entertaining and in maintaining my home of fifteen years. The house is bigger than I need now with children long gone and small grandchildren that visit only a few times a year. It is overflowing with decades of my own possessions and my mother's things since her death several years ago. I want to de-clutterfy, discard, sell, give away, etc. I want to keep only what serves my current needs and pleasures. I am ready to downsize. Not to move into a condo or apartment since those come with rules and regulations like not having three dogs as well as a lack of the privacy I still crave.

So, I am thinking that I am ready to move on, even though my house is paid for. If the economy would only pick up enough to sell, I would like a smaller place as home base maybe in the country with enough land for the dogs and the capability to keep the motor home on site. With a well and a septic tank and place for a garden. Ya know, a mini homestead. Somewhere in Florida, coastal Georgia, or western NC. I would like to see as much of the country as possible in the RV. With the dogs. And my laptop to write more books as I go. If wishes were horses, that's what I'd do. Danny is drooling at the thought.

I might add another wish that someday we could travel almost full time...but that one has to be on the back burner. Long term wish. Cause, Danny still has to work. So, a job of some sort has to be a part of the near future wish. Done, wish, second part.

It all has to stay theoretical for now thanks to the worst economic situation since my parents were kids in the Great Depression of the past century. But, still its good to have something to wish for. In the meantime, I'm counting my many blessings, enjoying life as it is, and resolved to begin the de-clutterification process...tomorrow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Dragons and boy wizards and class A motorhomes, oh my! It's Fall, although you wouldn't really know it by stepping outside. It is still steamy and sultry. I put out the autumn faux pumpkins (real ones die fast in Florida) and the faux sunflower wreath for the front door. Hasn't helped me believe.

We went to Universal's Islands of Adventure last Sunday and walked through Hogsmeade at Harry's Wizarding World but wintery ambience generated by the faux snow covered roofs did not stop us from sweating miserably in the upper 90's heat and humidity. After riding the Flight of Hippogriff and perusing the merchandise at the shops we got in line at Hogwarts Castle for the main ride. And got back out again less than five minutes later. Despite the relatively short 30 minutes posted wait time, we were just too hot and starting to feel sick. So we limped and staggered to the always icy cold Cat In The Hat ride and went home. That's what you do when you have annual passes. No pressure to stay cause you can always come back when the weather's better. If it ever gets better and I am beginning to wonder if summer will ever let go...

Meantime, back in our well air conditioned house, we've been watching all the Harry Potter movies in order and I'd forgotten how good they really are. We are real fans. After all, you are never too old to be a wizard. Look at Dumbledore!

My real time dragon book manuscript is in the capable hands of my editor friend, Lisa. So, I am not worried about Tim until he returns to me for more tweaking.

For no logical reason at all I quite unexpectedly turned my attention to getting a bigger motor home for new and improved vacation adventures. (Have I been bespelled?) See my other Blog, NanNan and Dan Dan for the story. Suffice to say, if all goes as planned, we will sign the papers for the new 31 foot Serrano this weekend. Danny suggested we name it 'The Badger' in honor of his favorite Hogwarts school of wizardry house, Hufflepuff. Since the exterior is badger colored, I like the idea.

We're off to a family wedding at the beach this weekend, too. Probably the last flight of the Parakeet for us before she gets traded in. So, somebody who can, cast a spell and blow any potential hurricanes away from Florida. Live long and prosper.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dogs, gods of frolic

Dogs are the gods of frolic. I don't remember who said that, but it is true. They are classic optimists: no matter if they've chased birds and squirrels for years unsuccessfully: each time they spot one or the other in the yard they give chase. "Maybe this time," they seem to grin, "the birds won't have wings. Maybe this time I'll beat the squirrel to the tree." Never mind that they never do. There's always next time.

Of course, this may be because while they hold the memory of smells in their brains for decades, they don't seem to hold much else. They certainly don't hold grudges or pout from injustices. Pat a dog and he will forget that you smacked his nose for robbing the garbage can an hour before.

I don't think they hold guilt either. Or anticipation of consequence of behavior. If they did, would they rob the same garbage can an hour later even after you screamed at them and smacked their noses? Dogs aren't stupid, not at all. it's just that they mostly live in the moment. When a moment is over with it's delightful garbage feast its over. When the screaming session as you clean the kitchen floor is over its over. There's a bird in the yard isn't there? Let's go!!

They do hold patterns in their brains, definitely. That's how they recall what to do when they spot a piece of agility equipment even if several years have past. They have an innate sense of time patterns, too. I don't understand how they know exactly when its time for their feeding bowls to descend to the kitchen floor full of their favorite kibble, or when its time for the school bus to drop off the kids, but they do. Even when daylight savings time changes the hour.

Dogs have a pretty big vocabulary for human words. If there's something of canine interest attached to the word. Such as walk, dinner, biscuit, dog park, car ride, cat, bird, squirrel, etc. They are not as good with words like come, no, bad dog, leave it, but they will learn them eventually after you've worked up a pretty good headache trying to teach them.

Dogs tend to have pretty short attention spans, actually. The 'in the moment thing again' probably. They get bored easily. They need something to do to keep them busy, happy, and out of garbage cans. Unfortunately modern dogs are primarily pets and their original functions denied them. Which accounts for a lot of the garbage cans runs. Or maybe they would make time for those anyway. Who knows.

Dogs do worry, they do form strong attachments to people and other animals. They do grieve. Perhaps this is more that they like patterns than that they are thinking of the missing person or animal. Maybe it is because they are pack animals. I have lived with dogs all my life and I don't really know.

Dogs are heroic. They will give their lives to protect an owner or a pack member. Dogs are infinitely patient. Anyone who has lived with dogs knows this for truth. For these things and for their ability to live in the moment and roll with life's punches without holding grudges, we humans should give thanks and emulate them.

Dogs will not desert you because you make a mistake or lose your job or your house. Just throw the ball for them and they're happy. Dogs don't care if you are young or old or fat or thin, beautiful or ugly. It all smells the same anyway. Just be kind to them and they will be at your side no matter what comes. Can't say that about people mostly.

So, they track in garden dirt, chew the tassels off the oriental rugs, and might have the occasional flea. So you have to give up brocade bedspreads and light colored upholstery. So what. We will not mention overturned garbage cans here... or chewed up shoes either. Dogs will tackle a burglar, warn you of an impending storm, and make you laugh with their clowning around. Their footpads smell like popcorn, they are great to cuddle up to for an afternoon nap and they are always ready for the next adventure.

They are not called man's best friend for nothing.